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Thursday, December 15, 2011

White sewing machine

My dad bought me this White sewing machine for Christmas back in 1978.  I wanted this hot pair of very high heeled leather boots, and he got me a sewing machine. I cried when I opened the box on Christmas morning just like a spoiled brat, because this was not that hot pair of boots I wanted. The boots are long gone, but I still have this machine. I tried to use it last year to sew some costumes for a play I was working on, and it wouldn't sew. Gerry has been trying to figure out what to get me, so I went looking at sewing machines today. They are PLASTIC!  ick! Mine is solid, almost feels like cast iron, I'm not really sure what it is, but it's heavy, well built and certainly not plastic. So, this made me think this is probably a much better sewing machine than anything I could buy right now, so I worked on it a bit, and what do you know, it is in perfect shape, and sews just fine. I just needed a new needle :)

There are a lot of you out there sewing and it has me thinking. I used to sew all the time. I made a lot of my clothes in high school, designed them, sewed them. My dad taught me to sew, he ran a furniture plant and made furniture on the side at night in this old run down tobacco barn. I sewed cushions and I sewed yards and yards of welt, just what any teenage girl wants to be doing with her summers off! God, it was so hot! or it was so cold! Never comfortable and there was always cotton and fabric fibers floating around in the air, tickling my nose. There was also the interesting smell of cows and the sound of their mooing. This barn was on a tobacco farm, but they had cows too. There is another barn imprint in my memory I guess.

Anyway..... I have been wanting to sew again. I'm thinking about somehow incorporating fabric with my work. Maybe a tiny quilt hanging on the side of a barn, or something, I don't know yet. After Christmas, I'm going to take the room upstairs that used to be my clay room and turn it into a sewing/jewelry room and see what I can come up with. Maybe nothing, but I'll never try if I don't set up the sewing machine and give it a try..... any ideas?

14 comments:

Susan Wells said...

Looks like fun Tracey! I love to sew too, but not late at night. It seems that's when the bobbin gets tangled and the tension gets off. I can't wait to see what you make!

Tracey Broome said...

You sew a lot better than I do girl! I should get some lessons from you :) See you tomorrow

Linda Starr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cookingwithgas said...

let's take this baby out for a spin!
Look at all those things it promises it can do...I bought mine when my daughter was in HS to make uniforms and flags for Color guard and it is a bit plastic but the baby can sew....

Dennis Allen said...

Seems like a good time for a song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxgbrAvn4SEe

smartcat said...

I have a Sears machine (made by White) that my mother bought me for Christmas 1964. (At the time I was designing and sewing for a shop....our main problem was that we were about ten years ahead of our time.) It has needed repairs once. I also have a White treadle machine....terrific for leather and a Singer featherweight which I kept in my car most of my working time because it was so handy for repairing clients' clothes. I grew up making everything. Now I only sew to alter clothes or make something too expensive to buy.

I love the idea of incorporating items into your work. Something to explore in '12.

Sister Creek Potter said...

When I was young--middle school age probably--I wanted a wide leather belt heavily designed. All my friends were getting them. My dad made one for me--he had taken up leather tooling while on Midway Island (after the big battle there) so he had the skills and the tools. My belt had my initials with other designs. But I was so disappointed because it did not 'match' the ones everyone was getting!! I should have meant more to me since my parents marriage was on the rocks and we did not see my dad around much--yet he had made that belt for me. Of course, I'd love to have it today!

Hollis Engley said...

Dee's dad bought her a Nelco sewing machine in NJ just before we were married in 1970. We carted it across the country to California, then back to Mass., then to New Mexico, then to Va. and now it's in the back bedroom (you've been there, actually) where she still does her sewing. And, like yours, it weighs a ton.

Michèle Hastings said...

I still have my Singer from 1980 and it too weighs a ton. It has only been to the repair shop once and it has been fine ever since. I have used it mostly for mending and when my daughter was little I made lots of halloween costumes. My mother was a seamstress and could make anything, she taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was around 9 or 10 years old.
Of course my Mom made all my clothes and I really wanted store bought junk...

Natalie Thiele said...

I look forward to seeing clothes on a clothesline outside your ceramic houses.

Gail said...

I guess we all may have a sewing machine story. I think my Singer is from 1947 when my parents bought the machine for me to learn to sew at the Singer store.
I still have it and use it frequently. Minature quilts would be easy to make...could bring an Amish touch to your southern barns.
Create and enjoy!

yolande clark said...

Oh Tracey...This post really made my heart hurt--for you and for your dad--and then heal...I love that over the years you have grown to appreciate this gift that at first was not at all what you thought you wanted...I was reminded of one Christmas when I was about 7, and my sister 5, and our big present under the tree on Xmas morning was a pair of life-jackets (our family did a lot of canoeing). Somehow though, my sister Alexandra and I were at just the right age, and...we LOVEd them. We couldn't have been more thrilled, and we wore those life jackets around the house and even out and about until after New Year's. Funny, because I know that if this gift had been given just a year or two later, I would have been apalled, and bitterly disappointed. I'm so glad you still have your sewing machine, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with! I really wish I could sew. My mum never let me near her sewing machine!

Tracey Broome said...

Hi all! Sorry I haven't been responding to the posts, I have been having a party, as you can see in my recent blog post! I love all of the sewing stories and memories and great ideas. Yes! A clothesline, how wonderful!!!
Isn't it interesting how so many of us are connected to a sewing machine somehow...
Yolande, I would have been happy with a life jacket too. My husband and I used to be white water paddlers and we still have the first two jackets we bought years ago. I loved that thing!
Gay, I was a brat about a watch my dad bought me once too. Boy, if I could take back about half the things I did as a teenager!

jimgottuso said...

hi tracey,
merry xmas, i'm catching up a bit... been sick. i'm having serious sewing machine envy. we want to get sofia a sewing machine and get her started. we went to one of those big fabric stores and she was acting like alice in wonderland... i couldn't drag her away. but i had the same feeling when looking at the machines, very light-weight and way too many functions, especially for a beginner. we just wanted a simple machine with a few basic stitches. and talk of tobacco barns sent me back to western ky. as a young man from the boondocks in central ny transplanted to w. ky. and making extra dough cutting tobacco and handing it up through the tiers of a tobacco barn, the romance of it all was marvelous. the hardest thing about it was figuring out how to put a dip of snuff in my mouth without using my fingers because of the bitter bitter tobacco resin/juice all over my hands